East Texas man hopes thrift store find reunites family with historical document

East Texas man hopes thrift store find reunites family with historical document
East Texas man finds marriage license dating back to 1891 in thrift store.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Often times when you’re thrift shopping, you never know what you’ll find. It could be a vintage jersey, an antique cabinet, or maybe a one of a kind piece of jewelry.

Many people consider thrifting an adventure and that was the case for one East Texan who found a marriage license dating back to 1891.

Wes Driver of Frankston made the discovery while sorting through donated items at East Texas Cornerstone in Tyler.

The marriage license for Frank L. Walker and Francis J. Riley of Hunt County, TX was something he knew need to be returned to their family.

“Having done a little genealogy work myself, I knew that this would be extra special to the family if I could find them," Driver said. “That’s when I started a Facebook post.”

Driver’s Facebook post has been shared almost two thousand times.

Within three days after the initial posting, Driver was contacted by Jeanette Taylor Szabo who claims to be the great niece of the late Frank L. Walker and Francis J. Riley.

“It made me sad that the marriage licence ended up in a thrift store,” said Szabo. “But when I found out about it I was very excited. I drove right pass the cemetery where she is buried and I thought she was trying to contact me.”

Found this while working at a thrift store in Tyler, TX. I would like to get it back to the family if possible. Its a...

Posted by Wes Driver on Friday, October 12, 2018

The story doesn’t stop there. Szabo was named after Francis J. Riley, whos middle name is Jeanette.

“It’s kind of bizarre, crazy, and exciting all in one,” said Szabo. “My grandfather named me after her.”

Driver was also contacted by another person who believes she may be a descendant of the couple as well. She is currently doing research and will get back him with the results.

Driver says he plans to deliver the marriage license to the descendant personally.

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